Doubling the Point

Doubling the Point : Essays and Interviews

4.02 (81 ratings by Goodreads)
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Nadine Gordimer has written of J.M. Coetzee that his "vision goes to the nerve-centre of being. What he finds there is more than most people will ever know about themselves, and he conveys it with a brilliant writer's mastery of tension and elegance". "Doubling the Point" takes the reader to the center of that vision. These essays and interviews, documenting Coetzee's longtime engagement with his own culture, and with modern culture in general, constitute a literary autobiography. Centrally concerned with the form and content of fiction, "Doubling the Point" provides insight into the significance of certain writers (particularly modernists such as Kafka, Musil, and Beckett), the value of intellectual movements (from structuralism and structural linguistics on through deconstruction), and the issues of political involvement and responsibility - not only for Coetzee's own work, but for fiction writing in general. In interviews prefacing each section of the book, Coetzee reflects on the essays to follow and relates them to his life and work. In these interviews editor David Attwell prompts from Coetzee answers of depth and interest.
The result is the story of a fiction writer's intellectual development, and of an intellectual's literary development. It is the story of how one writer has moved through the scholarly and political trends of the last 30 years, carefully assessing their applications and limitations, and through this experience forged for himself a unique and powerful literary voice informed in equal parts by life and learning.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 448 pages
  • 155 x 235 x 27.69mm | 617g
  • Cambridge, Mass, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 7 line illustrations
  • 0674215184
  • 9780674215184
  • 406,462

Table of contents

* Author's Note * Editor's Introduction Beckett * Interview * The Comedy of Point of View in Beckett's Murphy (1970) * The Manuscript Revisions of Beckett's Watt (1972) * Samuel Beckett and the Temptations of Style (1973) * Remembering Texas (1984) The Poetics of Reciprocity * Interview
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Review quote

Coetzee is known here for his fiction, set in his native South Africa, but less so for his criticism. This collection of essays should enhance his reputation. Coetzee examines such literary giants as Samuel Beckett (stylistically analyzing Watt via a computer-generated diagram in one essay), Franz Kafka, Robert Musil, D.H. Lawrence, and fellow South African writers Athol Fugard, Breyten Breytenbach, and Nadine Gordimer. Also included are sections on poetics, popular culture, syntax, and censorship. Atwell interviews Coetzee at the beginning of each section to complete a retrospective analysis of the essays; the result is a literary autobiography of stature. -- Ann Irvine Library Journal
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About J. M. Coetzee

J. M. Coetzee is Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago and Honorary Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Adelaide, Australia.
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Rating details

81 ratings
4.02 out of 5 stars
5 26% (21)
4 53% (43)
3 19% (15)
2 2% (2)
1 0% (0)
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